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Stable carbon isotope analysis of fluvial sediment fluxes over two contrasting C(4) -C(3) semi-arid vegetation transitions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22976204     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
RATIONALE: Globally, many drylands are experiencing the encroachment of woody vegetation into grasslands. These changes in ecosystem structure and processes can result in increased sediment and nutrient fluxes due to fluvial erosion. As these changes are often accompanied by a shift from C(4) to C(3) vegetation with characteristic δ(13) C values, stable isotope analysis provides a promising mechanism for tracing these fluxes.
METHODS: Input vegetation, surface sediment and fluvially eroded sediment samples were collected across two contrasting C(4) -C(3) dryland vegetation transitions in New Mexico, USA. Isotope ratio mass spectrometric analyses were performed using a Carlo Erba NA2000 analyser interfaced to a SerCon 20-22 isotope ratio mass spectrometer to determine bulk δ(13) C values.
RESULTS: Stable isotope analyses of contemporary input vegetation and surface sediments over the monitored transitions showed significant differences (p <0.05) in the bulk δ(13) C values of C(4) Bouteloua sp. (grama) grassland, C(3) Larrea tridentata (creosote) shrubland and C(3) Pinus edulis/Juniperus monosperma (piñon-juniper) woodland sites. Significantly, this distinctive δ(13) C value was maintained in the bulk δ(13) C values of fluvially eroded sediment from each of the sites, with no significant variation between surface sediment and eroded sediment values.
CONCLUSIONS: The significant differences in bulk δ(13) C values between sites were dependent on vegetation input. Importantly, these values were robustly expressed in fluvially eroded sediments, suggesting that stable isotope analysis is suitable for tracing sediment fluxes. Due to the prevalent nature of these dryland vegetation transitions in the USA and globally, further development of stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry has provided a valuable tool for enhanced understanding of functional changes in these ecosystems. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Authors:
Alan Puttock; Jennifer A J Dungait; Roland Bol; Elizabeth R Dixon; Christopher J A Macleod; Richard E Brazier
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM     Volume:  26     ISSN:  1097-0231     ISO Abbreviation:  Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8802365     Medline TA:  Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2386-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Affiliation:
Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK. ap267@ex.ac.uk.
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